Is It Legal to Ride in a Travel Trailer?

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A travel trailer is, in fact, your second home on wheels. It comes with a comfortable bed and extra seating in it. So, don’t you think it would be amazing to ride with your family back of the trailer to not feel cramped for room in the towing vehicle? Then the question arises, is it legal to ride in a travel trailer?

Although riding in the back of a motorhome is legal, and you can use all the amenities and luxuries of it while traveling on an open highway, this is not the case when it comes to travel trailers. However, the laws regarding riding in the back of a travel trailer vary depending on state to state.

Is It Legal to Ride in a Travel Trailer?

So, is it legal to ride in a travel trailer?

Yes, Some US states like Minnesota, Kansas, Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, Arizona, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Nebraska allows you to ride in the back of your travel trailer legally. But there are some US states that require you to install safety glass in the trailer to transport the passengers legally.

Moreover, since US states have different rules for travel trailers regarding their weight, length, height, width, hitch type, lighting mirror, etc., it is essential to thoroughly research the requirements to make sure you are following the rules.

Towing laws handed down by the federal government are a bit fuzzy. However, most of the laws are concerned with RV construction and how it is being towed. It means it will be an arduous task to find information when it comes to passengers riding in the back of the trailer. Each US state has its own laws on the type of RVs that can transport the passengers.

So, it is vital to check your state’s laws before you hit the road if you are considering riding in a travel trailer. Besides the legality, it is also vital to make sure you are following the safety measurements if you are going to ride in a travel trailer.

Is It Legal to Ride in a Travel Trailer?

Yes, Some US states like Minnesota, Kansas, Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, Arizona, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Nebraska allows you to ride in the back of your travel trailer legally. But there are some US states that require you to install safety glass in the trailer to transport the passengers legally. 

StateLegal?
AlabamaNo
AlaskaNo
ArizonaYes
ArkansasNo
CaliforniaNo
ColoradoNo
ConnecticutNo
District Of ColumbiaNo
DelawareNo
FloridaNo
GeorgiaNo
HawaiiNo
IdahoNo
IllinoisNo
IndianaYes
IowaYes
KansasYes
KentuckyNo
LouisianaNo
MaineNo
MarylandYes
MassachusettsNo
MichiganYes
MinnesotaYes
MississippiNo
MissouriYes
MontanaNo
NebraskaYes
NevadaNo
New HampshireNo
New Jersey No
New MexicoNo
New York No
North CarolinaYes
North DakotaNo
OhioNo
OklahomaNo
OregonNo
PennsylvaniaNo
Rhode IslandNo
South CarolinaNo
South Dakota No
TennesseeNo
TexasNo
UtahNo
VermontNo
VirginiaNo
WashingtonNo
West VirginiaNo
WisconsinNo
WyomingNo

Is It Legal to Ride in a Truck Camper?

Now, let’s talk about a truck camper – Can you ride in a truck camper? Luckily, if you have a truck camper, you are allowed to ride in it in almost all the US states except Mississippi, Maine, New Hampshire, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania. Some US states require you to install a safety glass and access to the truck’s cab section. At the same time, some US states also require you to transport passengers aging 14 or more.

Is it Legal to Ride in a Fifth Wheel?

When it comes to riding in a fifth-wheel travel trailer, you have to be more cautious since it is allowed only in the 19 US states. However, the rules are almost the same for both ridings in a travel trailer and fifth-wheel. It means riding in a fifth-wheel is legal in some states, while others don’t allow it. It also means you should get enough information regarding your state rules, as well as for states you are going to travel to.

Is it Legal to Ride in a Motorhome?

Unlike travel trailers, motorhomes, toy haulers, or other towable vehicles, when it comes to motorhomes, riding in a motorhome is perfectly legal all across the United States. Also, unlike travel trailers, fifth-wheels, and RVs, a motorhome is not a towable vehicle.

It means a motorhome is a single vehicle, and rules that are applied on towable vehicles are not meant for motorhomes. But, it doesn’t mean that there are no rules at all that you have to follow to ride in a motorhome. There are rules. You have to make sure the availability of seat belts that almost all the motorhomes come standard with.

However, the availability of seat belts in a motorhome is only for front passenger seats and not for the back seats. It means you have to install seat belts for the back seats as well.

Riding in a travel trailer is an exciting idea for younger family members. It also allows you to accommodate more passengers without feeling cramped for room in a tow vehicle. However, states have laws regarding riding in a travel trailer, so it is essential to know about these laws.

Safety Measurement to Ride in a Travel Trailer

You should know that the following safety precautions to ride in a travel trailer is required by some states only. But it would be nice to know about them to prepare yourself for any instance. Although it would be best not to ride in a travel trailer, still, if you are planning to do that, here are a few safety precautions that you should make sure to follow.

1. Installation of Safety Glass

Safety Glass

Most of the travel trailer doesn’t come standard with safety glass feature. It wouldn’t be wise to ride in a travel trailer if it doesn’t have safety glass installed. Safety glass is essential to ensure the passenger’s safety to protect them, not get showered with a bunch of glass in case of an accident.

2. Accessibility

The second most important thing is accessibility. While riding in a travel trailer, make sure you have easy access from either side of the trailer. Keep the door unlocked when there are passengers. In case of an emergency, locked doors will obstruct and delay the access for emergency responders to provide help.

Also, ensure that the doors can also be opened from the inside. This is critical for the safety of passengers riding in the trailer.

3. Seat Belts

Another safety feature to consider while you want to ride in a travel trailer is the seat belts. The availability of seat belts is no doubt a feature that helps to save lives in case of an accident. Although, most if not all the travel trailers or fifth-wheel doesn’t come standard with seat belt facility, you have to modify it yourself.

Besides passenger safety, seat belt’s availability plays a role in complying with state laws. There are US states that require you to have seat belts available when traveling in a travel trailer. Moreover, you shouldn’t do this just because you want to ride legally; it is a requirement to ensure your family’s safety. After all, it is far better to be safe than sorry.

4. Avoid Children to Ride in the Travel Trailer without Supervision

I know this step is a no brainer, but letting children ride in a travel trailer without adult supervision is dangerous. Ensure there is someone who makes sure they aren’t running around and staying seated throughout the travel.

5. Connectivity/Communication

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Communication is another vital aspect to consider when you are considering riding in a travel trailer. Make sure you can easily communicate to the tow vehicle using a cell phone or a two-way radio. However, two-way radios are recommended since cellphone might have service issues.

6. Avoid Pets

While on the move, it is strongly recommended to not leave your pets in the back of the travel trailer. After all, they are animals and have no idea what is going on. They might get a panic attack while on the road, you will have no option to calm them down. Moreover, you will also be unable to protect them in case of an accident.

7. Securing the Objects Available in the Travel Trailer

When considering to ride in a travel trailer, make sure to secure loose objects present in your recreational vehicle. Keeping them secure will prevent them from falling off when you are on the move on an open highway. It’s even more critical if you’ve kids riding in the back of the travel trailer.

Make sure to keep all the portable objects in the cabinets and close the cabinets tightly. Moreover, if you have any carts or appliances with wheel present in your RV, make sure to lock their wheel to prevent rolling them around when you are driving.

8. Minimize the Movement

Although it is not possible to not move at all when you are riding in a travel trailer, you should minimize your movement as much as possible. The perfect and safest area in a travel trailer on the move is the passenger’s seats with safety belts. You should not leave your seat unless it is absolutely necessary.

9. Be Attentive While Driving

Sleeping in a travel trailer while on the move means you risk your and other passengers’ lives in danger. If you cannot keep your eyes open, make sure to take a nap in a passenger seat with safety belts on.

It means sleeping on your RV bed while on the move is not as secure as taking a nap in the passenger seat. Besides safety, sleeping in a moving travel trailer also means you are violating the laws. Furthermore, a sleepy person will not be able to react to handle an emergency situation quickly.

The bottom line, sleeping in a travel trailer means you compromise your and other passengers’ safety.

10. Don’t Cook in a Moving Trailer

One of the dangerous things is cooking in a moving travel trailer. Your RV kitchen itself is a confined area and dangerous. Moreover, it is also extremely inconvenient, so why should you bother?

11. Avoid Using Bathroom While Moving

It is pretty stupid to use the bathroom while the travel trailer is moving. Although there is nothing that can stop you, the bathroom is the worst place to be in an accident. If it’s absolute for you to use the bathroom, make sure to pull the trailer over to finish the business safely.

Wrapping Up

Is it legal to ride in a travel trailer? It is the very first question that will come to your mind when you want to accommodate more people to travel with you. It is an exciting idea to ride in a travel trailer. It lets you accommodate more people without feeling cramped for the room in your tow vehicle. You’ll be able to enjoy the amenities your travel trailer has to offer while on the move. However, it could be pretty dangerous, too, if you are not following the safety precautions. When it comes to the legality to ride in a travel trailer, you have to make sure you’re following state rules and considered all the safety precautions. Above is a simple guide that will help you to understand the basic safety measures and what states let you ride in a travel trailer. Safe Traveling

FAQ

Can I leave pets in the back of the travel trailer while traveling?

No! Your pets aren’t human, and they don’t know what is going on. Leaving your pets in the back of the trailer while on the move might panic them, and they get destructive. You will have no option to calm them down while moving. Moreover, it will be hard to protect them in case of an accident or emergency situation. So, it is not wise to leave your pets in the back of the travel trailer.

Can children ride in a travel trailer?

Although it is not recommended to let your children ride in a travel trailer, they can ride under the supervision of an adult who ensures they stay seated while on the road.

About Ted Mosby

My Name is Ted Mosby from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a freelance Architect. I live in New Jersey, USA right now and I take my RV every alternate weekend. As I am a Freelancer I can work anywhere so most of my work is done inside my camper remotely.